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On September 28, the AAHPERD Board of Directors approved SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators as the new name for the Alliance to reflect the new vision and mission, better resonate with the public, and reflect our position as the leader in school-based health and physical education. The official name will be the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America. A full professional membership vote was required to officially approve the name change. On November 18, the vote ended and the new name was approved by a majority of the AAHPERD members who voted.
SHAPE is the acronym for the Society of Heath and Physical Educators, in the same way AAHPERD is the acronym for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. We would use SHAPE in the same way we use AAHPERD, as an acronym and type of "shorthand." "America" draws from "American" in our current name. Having an acronym that actually says and means something, and is pronounced phonetically, helps to make it more memorable.
With the assistance of nationally recognized branding and communication experts, the new name is meaningful, memorable and captures the essence of who our members are and what they do. The goal of the name change and rebranding is to relaunch AAHPERD as a bold leadership organization serving professionals in pre-K-12 health and physical education, college faculty in teacher preparation for health education, physical education, dance and sport; faculty in kinesiology, exercise science, and pedagogy; and community physical activity specialists.
Watch the presentation from AAHPERD President Gale Wiedow
Why is AAHPERD changing its name?
- Unification, and a new mission and vision
- To increase relevancy with the public, specifically school principals and administrators, the media, policy-makers, and parents.
- Brevity. The current name is long. Social media and other factors make a simple, memorable name desirable.
- To better communicate who we are and what we do.
- To modernize and give our organization a fresh, new name and look.
Our current name is established. By changing it don't we risk losing ground?
Actually no. Via surveys with school principals and parents in fall 2012 conducted by ORI Research, we confirmed that recognition of AAHPERD among these audiences was very low.
Is the name the only thing changing?
No. AAHPERD will also adopt a new logo, color palette, and tagline along with the new name.
Was the new name market-tested?
Yes, with a focus group and via feedback from AAHPERD members and staff. Those that provided feedback were in favor of the new name.
When will it take effect?
It will take 6-8 months to fully transition to the new name. A press release the first week in December will announce the new name to the public.
Will the name of the National Convention & Expo change for 2014?
No. We are too far down the road with marketing and communications to change the name for the next National Convention & Expo.
Will this change my membership dues?
Do the state AHPERDs have to change their names?
No, but two already have.
Did the AAHPERD Board of Directors endorse this name change?
Who had the "final say?"
AAHPERD eligible voting members. A majority of those voting approved the name change.
What is the "official" name?
The official name is "Society of Health and Physical Educators," doing business as "SHAPE America."
Questions? Email Jennifer Jones, Senior Director of Marketing, at email@example.com.
© 2013 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance